Shake it Up & Off

Word of the week

Maybe the story about the spider mutation this autumn lay dormant in my subconscious when I chose this word of the week as at first sound it could be referring to a small cute spider with tiny feet? But alas no, the word of the week is actually a light weight flannelette that is used for night clothes and undergarments. Seriously tactile, comfy and retro. And actually fitting with the fashion trend for texture further down.

noun: winceyette

- a lightweight napped flannelette, used especially for nightclothes and undergarments.

You need to shake it out and off

Word on the ‘wellbeing’ street is that there is a new very physical craze upon us. It’s simply called ‘shaking.’ Apparently flinging yourself around the place completely carefree whilst giggling (this helps even more as it creates internal vibrations), has been clinically proven to release tension whilst simultaneously re-energising the entire system by releasing energy blockages. Thinking about many of us in these ‘post-truth’* times, I am sure we are hunched over a desk tapping a series of keys devouring worrying political/terrorist news for hours on end as our shoulders inadvertently compact without much of a reprise at all. The shake out, it’s the feeling you may recall, the odd time when you've been to an exercise class and lie flat whilst jibbling your legs above you in the air as you attempt to gather back feeling. The more you do i, you realise it works and does feel strangely invigorating as though the legs had been slathered in a cooling Body Shop leg gel. For more on these shakeathon benefits, check out Gail Love Schock’s website and feel the healing benefits of exaggerated vibration.

*for those unaware of this widespread jargon it means relating to a situation in which people are more likely to accept an argument based on their emotions and beliefs, rather than one based on facts.


Its all about texture this season when it comes to fashion. Think shearling, leather, PVC, tweed, corduroy, crushed velvet, listen maybe even winceyette or brushed cotton (luscious on your bed sheets). And don’t be afraid to layer texture on texture because if it works for you and it makes you happy then it’s ok and if you feel good, you look good. While we’re on the texture topic, an interesting side note is that Tom Kerridge - he of more rotund shaped chef way back when, confesses to having being able to get through his weight loss (11 stone in 3 years), by relying quite heavily on, wait for it, PORK SCRATCHINGS! They’re small tiny powerful all protein doses and can be scattered atop any boring, low cal meal to give an edge and mostly provide oft missed ‘crunch’ texture for those adhering to a low fat diet. When Tom revealed this fact back in February, sales of pork scratchers went through the roof. So don’t feel bad about chomping them in the pub and when you feel the odd release of grease in between sipping pints/wine/G&T/snakebite, remind yourself it’s pure protein and is really helping you shed pounds.

H&M Extravaganza on the horizon

Fashion note two this week. The H&M collaborations seem to gather more glamour and pace as the years roll on. The next one set to launch on 2nd November is a tie up with Brit Erdem Moralioglu (notorious for feminine silhouettes and vibrant prints) which will feature womenswear, accessories and an inaugural men’s collection. The show stopping launch in LA that happened yesterday recreated a maze like English garden as a setting and even prompted famous Director Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge) to create a bespoke short film! Erdem said, “The collection reinterprets some of the codes that have defined my work over the past decade. It’s also inspired by much of my youth, from the English films, 90’s TV shows and music videos I grew up watching to memories of the style that defined members of my family. Taking from these inspirations I imagined a group of characters and friends off to the English countryside for the weekend. There’s a real play in the collection between something decidedly dressed-up and equally effortless.” So the Famous Five in primary colours then? Maybe not as simple as that. Get ready for some rugging up on Oxford Street in the wee hours if you’ve got any chance of grabbing any of this collection.

Restaurant of the week

Tapas has to be one of my all time favourite meals not only because of how tasty Spanish food is (when it’s done well, obviously), but mostly because you get to sample loads of different dishes and tastes in one seating. Why have pie and chips when you have the option to have an endless sea of dishes that just keep appearing - calamari, patatas bravas, gambas, meatballs, lentil stew, aioli (and the list goes on). In keeping with the banquet that doesn’t make you feel bad afterwards because after all, it’s served on small plates, I’ve heard good things about this place (but am yet to try it). Though my table is booked for a couple of week’s time. Check it out and tell me about your recommended dishes if you get there before I do.

Interior of the week

I’ve long had a penchant for wanting to own a little boutique cafe where everything within it (even the cups and plates you sup from) is green (weird colour obsession) and for sale. I think when you are fully enveloped in an experience, there is a lot to be said for how easy it might be to sell the entire package. Let’s call it the ‘future of selling;’ away with AI, digital and non tactile and moreover in with the very basic human truism of being ‘present.’ Trawling through my archives this week I was very happy to discover the story about the ‘lifestyle apartment’ of British fashion label, Talitha where this is very much a reality. Ensconced in their very cool Notting Hill apartment the decor is to die for - cool, comfortable, eclectic, boho (without a flouncy layered skirt in sight). Turns out this incredible apartment is without occupants and exists solely for customers to ‘envisage living the spirit of the brand.’ The depth of the cleverness of the decoration is based on a mantra that transcends trends and ignores fads, rather here is years of travel, curation, genuine curiosity and things that will stay with you for life if you truly love them.

Christmas tip of the week

Bark is very pretty when you use it in crafts. Last year I left it too late to buy my bark and therefore couldn’t recreate the perfectly executed Scandi cool decorations that in my head were going to look so amazing - with a bark pop here and there in between the rest of my artfully decorated house (not all wedged into a small space adding to the clutter, at all, no!). So whilst it’s still October and you’ve got time, as the French would say, ‘Profitez!’ So, get shopping for bark this week to store in the craft box that you will soon spring open on a lazy late Sunday in November, gin in hand, to get mega Christmas creative.

For bark squares from which to cut our your own shapes try Baker Ross who also very handily do pre-cut bark star shapes which will look wonderful with the pine cones I told you that you should gather last week (don’t worry if you haven’t, there’s still time).

Music of the week

Pinching an idea that DJ Nemone does on BBC Radio 6 where she asks leading lights to name their favourite 3 tracks. I thought I would ask you to think about it. If like me you like a wide cross section of music and find it virtually impossible to narrow your music loves down to one even two genres, this is not an easy task… So the idea is to choose 3 tracks to soundtrack your ‘perfect evening.’ Of course in the grand scheme of things this is ridiculous as you hope to God having called a baby sitter in, that the evening lasts longer than 9 minutes but you get my drift and it’s a good conversation opener to battle out with your peers and spark a very healthy music debate.

The 3 tracks that you would take with you on a night out - the warm up, the ‘in it’, the downtime.

Mine are as follows:

‘I wanna dance with somebody’ - Whitney Houston

I’m raving I’m raving - Ratpack

Islands in the Stream - Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers

Charity Shop Find of the Week

This masterpiece here is thanks to Cancer Research in Loughton, Essex. Thank you. Appearing in all its green glory in the window, I couldn’t resist it’s earthy green hues even though my inner voice was saying ‘you’re never going to use this’ but the inner voice counter was ‘who cares it’s a sumptuous shade of green, has longitudinal lines and will make a cracking vignette.’ The vignette won, clearly because I’ve just photographed it to show you.

Green coffee set - an absolute steal at £8.

I kiss you on both cheeks til next week X